At 22 years of age Councillor Lonergan is the youngest Mayor Ireland has ever had
Eamon Ryan commented: “As a member of the Green Party, Cllr. Lonergan has played a key role in her region in highlighting the issues of youth and women in community issues and politics. She is a shining example of how this Party is moving forward with fresh ideas and new people. Her courage in taking on such a difficult role is an inspiration for young people.”
Cllr. Lonergan was nominated to the position by her fellow Green Party Councillor, Kristina Jankaitiene. With a degree in International Politics from NUI Maynooth, she is currently undertaking a Masters in ‘Leadership for Sustainable Development’ at Queen’s University.
Cllr. Lonergan first ran for election at the age of 19, and was co-opted on to the Carrickmacross Town Council (Co. Monaghan) at the age of 21. She became the youngest female candidate running for the Dáil when she contested the 2011 general election. She has proven to be an asset within the Green Party, where she has been elected to the National Executive Committee two years in succession.
Cllr. Lonergan said she hoped to revive a sense of community in the area. “In these struggling times when Carrick citizens are feeling a loss both financially and through emigration, I hope we can come together as a community to help our neighbours and foster the social growth of our town.”
She emphasised her intention to help develop a new consciousness, both for our neighbours and their families and especially in instigating communication with newcomers to the town. “We must integrate and accept the new Irish as we would want our sons and daughters, or brothers and sisters accepted into the communities of Canada, Australia, etc.”
Cllr. Lonergan thanked all those people in her life who contributed to her progression, giving special consideration to Vincent P. Martin who encouraged her to run for election at 19 years of age, and to Eamon Ryan and the Green Party members who have supported her and guided her in recent years, closing by stating her hope to inspire more youth to get into politics and that the next local elections would see both town and county councils having a greater youth representation.